Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.


Visual Hallucinations Overview

Another name for Visual Hallucinations is Hallucinations.

What are hallucinations?
A person with hallucinations has difficulty with the perception of reality, which also results in delusions. A person with visual hallucinations sees things that do not exist, while a person with auditory hallucinations hears sounds or voices that do not exist. Tactile hallucinations occur when someone feels something on the skin that does not exist. Delusions are false beliefs or unrealistic ideas. Psychosis is a common cause for hallucinations. Psychosis is usually caused by a mental illness. Other causes of hallucinations include drug toxicity, drug abuse, drug withdrawal, alcohol withdrawal, and some metabolic disorders that affect the brain.

What are the symptoms of hallucinations?
Symptoms that occur with hallucinations include delusions, bizarre behavior, lack of insight, confusion, violent behavior, difficulty controlling emotions, poor communication skills, and poor interpersonal relationships.

How does the doctor treat hallucinations?
Treatment for hallucinations depends on the underlying cause. In the case of a mental illness, such as schizophrenia, hallucinations are controlled with antipsychotic medications.

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Visual Hallucinations References
  1. Cantor-Graae E, Selten JP. Schizophrenia and migration: a meta-analysis and review. Am J Psychiatry. 2005 Jan;162(1):12-24. [15625195]
  2. Kurtz MM, Moberg PJ, Gur RC, Gur RE. Approaches to cognitive remediation of neuropsychological deficits in schizophrenia: a review and meta-analysis. Neuropsychol Rev. 2001 Dec;11(4):197-210. [11883669]
  3. Tarrier N. Cognitive behaviour therapy for schizophrenia -- a review of development, evidence and implementation. Psychother Psychosom. 2005;74(3):136-44. [15832064]
  4. Turkington D, Dudley R, Warman DM, Beck AT. Cognitive-behavioral therapy for schizophrenia: a review. J Psychiatr Pract. 2004 Jan;10(1):5-16. [15334983]
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